Prime Minister John Key says a call by school principals to review the decile rating system is fair but he can't see an easy way around the system for ranking schools.
Parents often confused the decile ranking, based on the socio-economic background of the majority of students, with the academic achievement of a school, but they were a reasonably accurate assessment of the capacity of that school to raise funds in their community, he said.
Mr Key said the Government's move to national standards was an attempt to have "coherent data" for parents on the level of achievement in literacy and numeracy but said league tables could be a good idea.
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